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Las Vegas community reacts to SCOTUS decision on LGBTQ+ rights

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jun 15, 2020

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A watershed moment. The Supreme Court ruling to ban discrimination against LGBTQ employees.

The court handing down a landmark decision, expanding protections in the civil rights act to LGBTQ employees. The 6-to-3 vote included the four liberal justices and two conservative justices. Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch writing:

"An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids."

John Waldron, the CEO of the LGBTQ Center of Southern Nevada, says it was an unexpected decision.

“It was certainly surprising although when you read it, the logic was fairly simple that it was clearly a case of discrimination based on sex,” he said.

At the state level, Nevada has passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 1999, which eventually expanded protections to include gender identity and expression. Chris Davin with Equality Nevada says the court’s decision now has legal legs across the country.

“It’s interesting at the federal level, it’s now a federal statute to govern all of the states, even the ones that haven’t passed legislation on this topic,” he said.

He says this development is part of a wider movement for social justice.

“Today our world is currently alive with rage, protests, and reflection because our country has failed to deliver on the laws it promised,” he said.

The job search continues for Karen Grayson as she plugs away on her laptop.

“I’m back to looking for a job again, and we’ll have to go through the same thing and hopefully I get somebody who’s very understanding,” she said.

She hopes someone understands and respects her as a transgender woman. She says ever since came out as transgender, she has been let go from jobs because of who she was.

“The owner said, I can’t have you working for me. I said why? He said. ‘Because you give a bad image to our company,'” Grayson said.

With the Supreme Court’s landmark decision, members of the LGBTQ plus community can’t be discriminated at work. Grayson says it was a surprising but correct decision.

“We now have the right to be heard as people, not just a person. We’re transgender. We’re people just like everybody else,” she said.

The 6-to-3 decision was supported by two conservative justices, John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch. Grayson believes it’s a sign of the times.

“What these justices did is just rocking the world. It’s opening doors now, saying we can just go ahead and just be people,” she said.

People from a community Grayson feels is gaining more acceptance.